Each year I reflect on accomplishments, challenges and lessons. While I was doing my 2019 navel gaze, I noticed a theme: energy levels. There were a lot of mountains and valleys when it came to how much energy I was expending vs gaining at specific times of the year. So I started a fourth list of ‘what worked to boost my energy?’ Under that heading I scrawled answers to questions like: ‘what makes me happy?” How can I capture that feeling over time? What are the things I can do to level up after being in an energy valley?
One thing I’ve noticed the past few years is that my usual bottomless well of ENFJ energy is less so. These days I need to listen to my body and mind, do more of what boosts energy, do less of the energy draining things and sometimes slow the f*#k down.
When full and flowing my energy levels are all about loving, being lit up, focusing creative fun, spending time outside or at gatherings with family and friends. At it’s highest my energetic vibe runs through me like a warm Coachella wind through a turbine or beats through the Boss Fam‘s backyard boogies. When it’s low, I need a lot of coffee, a hanky, and endless text support from my nearest and dearests.
So instead of regaling you with the stories of the energy drains in my life, here are four ways I replenished my inner battery over in 2019.
Gratitude & Happiness in jar
Early 2019 I saw a post from Elizabeth Gilbert – she of Big Magic and self-discovery pilgrimages – that seemed to be an easy enough practice: a happiness jar. As per Ms. Gilbert’s directions every Sunday evening (or sometimes Mondays, let’s be real) I wrote down three moments/things I was thankful for and folded them into a jar that sits on my bedside table. And here I am about to crack that little jar and read the approximately 49 pieces of gratitude and happiness notes. As an extremely nostalgic person, I’m excited and most of all thankful that I stuck to this energy boosting practice and the memories it will provide me.
Making dirt: learning to compost
Dirt is dang expensive to buy on Haida Gwaii. But you know what’s not? Chicken poop from my flock, maple leaves from my yard and food scraps from my kitchen. One of the best favourite energy boosters I started in 2019 included learning how to compost. As a fairly inexperienced gardener, I didn’t realize how much dirt it took to grow my cherry tomatoes, onions, kale and potatoes in my various upcycled, home built containers.
After quite a lot of texts and in person consults with a friend who is not a slacker gardener plus a bucket of gifted, wormy compost from another superior dirt farmer I made some great compost. And guess what? I doubled my yield and my energy.
Go on a mini-vaca
Have you heard about the magic of a mini-vaca? Simply put, they are tiny vacations that last 18-48 hours. I took four mini-vacas in the last year: a birthday bus sleepover (see above), two weekends in Massett and a catch up sleepover with my aunt in Banff after a work trip. The common element with all of these: they required low amounts of energy output but pumped me up loads of energy input. The mini-vacas involved activities I love (playing scrabble, picking wild strawberries, typing a letter on my new Royal typewriter, drinking tricked out hot chocolate and/or soaking in hot tubs).
The top photo from this post is from my solo vaca to Massett. On that trip I had a beer at a friend’s place in Tow Hill, watched a Hallmark movie, wrote some poetry and was bestowed directions to a ‘locals-only’ strawberry spot in the 19 hour trip. My mini-vaca must haves: chocolate, a Nettle’s Tale bathing suit, letter writing supplies and a jumpsuit of some sort.
Shazam that ish: keep finding new music
Music is life. These days, I’m not very up to date on new music. Since I don’t subscribe to Spotify or Apple Music and frankly don’t have tonnes of time to research new music, I was losing out finding new grooves up my energy and start my days. I did get to a couple of concerts and discover new music in person (hello Shad and Desiree Dawson).
But here’s my music energy source hack that’s a bit old-school like my 2011 first-run iTouch: I build my library by using Shazam. The last 10 albums and 25 songs I’ve downloaded have been thanks to Shazam-ing songs in stores or songs I’ve heard on trips. Thanks to that one of my favourite playlists also brings back big memories from my California trip last spring. Music fills my energy stores – if I don’t listen to music in the morning while I’m getting ready, it’s the equivalent to skipping my daily 10,000 units of Vitamin D. Mama needs her grooves and sunshine.
What do you do to charge your energy battery? Any life hacks or practices you want to share?